Two Common Fertility Issues Explained

infertility CO

When you are ready to conceive and find you are having trouble the struggle to conceive can quickly become overwhelming. Many couples begin to feel worried about not conceiving after just a few months of trying. As a fertility center, our job is to help couples conceive through appropriate medical assistance, but an important part of our job is to raise awareness regarding the various ways in which a couple can help themselves get pregnant. Two common roadblocks to fertility that we talk to a lot of patients about are smoking and obesity.

How Smoking Can Affect Fertility

You may have heard that fertility issues are more common among smokers than non-smokers, this is absolutely true.  Women who smoke go through menopause at an earlier age and will have a decline in their fertility at an earlier age. 

Cigarettes contain thousands of chemicals. When you inhale them, they don’t just go to your lungs; they go throughout your body. Every organ. According to studies, the effects of these toxic chemicals can diminish the ability to conceive by:

    •       Damaging reproductive organs

    •       Damaging the eggs released by the ovaries

    •       Interrupting ovulation

Smoking also increases the risk of miscarriage and genetic disorders, not to mention cancer.

Fertility issues related to smoking are not reserved only for women. If your male partner smokes, infertility may stem from low sperm count or poor sperm motility (ability to swim). Men who smoke may also suffer erectile dysfunction and hormonal issues. Recent studies have shown that smoking may have epigenetic effects (non genetic changes to genes) on sperm leading to infertility.

How Obesity Can Affect Fertility

The incidence of obesity is on the rise in the United States. Most obese women are not infertile; however, obesity does have a negative impact upon fertility. Obese women are three times more likely to suffer infertility than women with a normal weight.  Obese women have a lower chance of conceiving in both in natural and IVF cycles.  Recent studies show that weight loss alone may not improve the reproductive outcomes. Like smoking, obesity can also be a factor in male infertility. Men with a higher body mass index are more likely to suffer low-testosterone. A natural side effect of low testosterone is estrogen dominance and, along with that, erectile dysfunction and poor-quality sperm.

The Good News

There is a great deal of value in a healthy lifestyle no matter what stage of life you’re in. During the reproductive years, the habits you keep become even more crucial to the quality of life – yours and your fertility.

Do you need help understanding and managing infertility? Rocky Mountain Fertility Center has offices in Castle Rock, Parker, and South Dakota to serve you.

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